BALTIMORE - The Diamondbacks will place Randy Johnson on the disabled list because of the soreness in his gluteus maximus muscle that forced him out of his scheduled start today.
Johnson underwent an MRI exam Friday after developing the injury while throwing in the Valley in preparation for rejoining the team here.
“We felt after being looked at, the best thing to do would give him the full 15 days,” D-Backs manager Bob Melvin said. “We’re comfortable doing that, based on it’s only four more days until his next start. We just want to make sure he’s OK.”
Edgar Gonzalez, who threw 47 pitches in three innings after replacing Livan Hernandez on Wednesday, will start today. Enrique Gonzalez will be activated after flying here from Triple-A Tucson on Friday.
Johnson’s last start was a 5-1 victory over Boston’s Daisuke Matsuzaka Sunday, so he could miss only one more start before returning.
He would be eligible to come back June 26, and the D-Backs could make it that far without needing another start from either Gonzalez.
Because of next Thursday’s off day, Brandon Webb, Livan Hernandez, Doug Davis and Micah Owings could pitch on their normal four days’ rest the next time through.
Johnson, 43, had back surgery to repair a herniated disk in his lower back that was grating on a nerve last October, and was pushed back a few days during spring training when he felt the same gluteous maximus symptoms after an early batting practice session.
“It’s probably related to the sciatic (nerve). I think they’re all mixed in,” Melvin said of Johnson’s current injury.
BACK IN THE BIGS
Augie Ojeda started at second base in his return to the major leagues Friday, calling it a “dream” to be back after last playing for Minnesota during the final two months of 2004.
He couldn’t have dreamed this big of a return — a single in a five-run eighth inning and a two-run home run, his first major league homer since Sept. 13, 2004, in the ninth.
“I’ll take an 0-fer if we can win,” Ojeda said. “I just try to contribute any way we can.”
Ojeda is expected to be the principle middle infield reserve with occasional starts at shortstop, his primary position, and at second. That was departed Alberto Callaspo’s job description.
“It’s the toughest job in baseball, other than pinch-hitting,” said Ojeda, 32 and a Chandler resident, who spent parts of five seasons in the majors with the Cubs and Minnesota.
“You take a lot of groundballs, do a lot of running, and try to stay as sharp as you can.”
Melvin did not seem overly concerned that a condensed version of a D-Backs’ scouting report on the New York Yankees was published by The Associated Press on Friday.
The AP said it found a copy of the report in the D-Backs’ dugout after Thursday’s game, but Melvin said it was just a “cheat sheet,” a single piece of paper pitchers and catchers use as a refresher during a game.
“I don’t see a problem with that,” Melvin said. “If they find it, they find it.
Right-hander Mike Schultz, the D-Backs’ second-round pick in the 2000 draft, was designated for assignment to make room on the 40-man roster for Ojeda. The D-Backs have 10 days to trade, waive or release Schultz.